Comorbidity in patients after stroke: impact on functional outcome

J Rehabil Med. 2008 Nov;40(10):831-5. doi: 10.2340/16501977-0269.


Objective: To evaluate the incidence of comorbid diseases and their impact on functional outcome in patients after stroke.

Design: A prospective study.

Subjects: A total of 140 patients after stroke.

Methods: Comorbidities were assessed with the Liu comorbidity index. Functional independence was evaluated using the Functional Independence Measure (FIM). The relationship between comorbidities and functional outcomes were investigated. The impact of comorbidities on functional outcome was examined with multiple stepwise regression analysis.

Results: Ninety-four (67%) of 140 patients completed the study. The most frequent comorbid condition was hypertension at the initial visit. The weighted comorbidity index at baseline was negatively correlated with the follow-up FIM score and functional gain. Multiple regression analysis revealed that follow-up FIM score could be best explained by FIM at admission and the contribution of the weighted comorbidity index to functional outcome was 3.1%.

Conclusion: Comorbid diseases are common among patients after stroke. They were shown to have a negative correlation with functional outcome; however, their impact on functional outcome was not clear. The proper evaluation of comorbid conditions should be included in stroke outcome research.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke / physiopathology
  • Stroke Rehabilitation